Artist Statement & Resume
I became interested in photography at age nine when my favorite uncle gave me some darkroom equipment (a film developing tank, a contact printing frame, a few trays, and chemicals). The results of my first efforts in my bathroom/darkroom impressed me as pure magic. My little contact prints curled severely as they dried—I did not know how to flatten them. I knew that photography would always hold a central place in my life.
After working as a professional photojournalist for a number of years, I decided to realize some of the dreams I had held for a long time. Working through the London bureau of the Associated Press, I took an extended trip through several West African countries in late 1978. This experience radically changed me, broadened my outlook on the world, and significantly contributed to my growth as a photographer. The work was difficult and challenged me in new ways. Not only was this my first experience photographing in a foreign country, it was the first time I traveled overseas. I had to navigate my way through unfamiliar geography, cultures, and languages. Since then, I have had the good fortune to photograph in many countries in Europe, the former Soviet Union, Asia, Central America, the Middle East, and the Caribbean.
My photography reflects my endless fascination with how people live and what they do. I try to capture the details, moments, and scenes that, for me, convey the essential qualities of everyday life. The images I record are the notes I make in response to my observations. I often do not ponder long on making a composition. I am drawn to the fleeting moment—I rely on my intuitive sense of balance and insight. I always try to portray the dignity of my subjects as well as my interest in them. There are common threads that run through all cultures—and there are differences in the details that are illuminating.
I began experimenting with digital imaging in the late 1980s. This, in turn, stimulated my interest in other means of rendering my photographic images. In 2003 I went back to school to earn an MFA in printmaking. I have since been exploring ways to bring photography and printmaking closer together.